THE company behind Dorchester’s Brewery Square development has welcomed a major new investor to the £100million scheme.

Developer Waterhouse has formed a joint venture partnership with leading real estate investor Resolution, which it claims is a major endorsement of the scheme.

Waterhouse also hopes to announce a new contractor ahead of the start of phase two in early 2011, after the collapse of original contractor Rok.

The first of three phases of the Brewery Square development has been completed, with the final scheme boasting apartments, houses, a care home, 42 shops and restaurants, two hotels, a cinema, arts centre, theatre and new train station.

Director of Resolution Nigel Robson said: “Brewery Square is a great opportunity for us to invest in a high-quality UK development in partnership with an experienced and creative partner.

“Dorchester is an affluent town benefiting from strong population growth that has culminated in strong demand and pre-sales of the residential apartments.

“In addition, there is pent-up demand from retailers and restaurants seeking modern units, which will be provided in an attractive and inviting environment that we are confident will establish itself as a new retail and cultural quarter within Dorchester.”

The second phase of the scheme will include the cinema, which Odeon has recently signed up to operate, and other big names already signed up for units include Hobbs, Café Rouge and Pizza Express.

Director of Waterhouse Andrew Wadsworth said the investment from such a major player in the property market illustrated the ambition of the Brewery Square development and scotched unfounded rumours that the wider scheme was under threat after the collapse of Rok.

He said: “It’s unusual to see a major UK property fund coming in to back a project in a town like Dorchester.

“It underlines the significance of the scheme as being the largest urban regeneration project in the South West of England.

“It also scotches the rumours that have been going round which have been caused by the Rok situation.”

Mr Wadsworth added: “The development is eagerly awaited by retailers and the public and with Resolution on board we will be pressing ahead with the delivery of the next phase.”